Although the exercise and outdoor activity experienced in prospecting streams are rewarding in themselves, there are few thrills comparable to finding gold. Often the search for the gold is exciting in itself. Many believe that it is possible to make wages or better by panning gold in the streams of the West, particularly in regions where placer mining formerly flourished. However, most placer deposits have been thoroughly reworked at least twice–first by Chinese laborers, who arrived soon after the initial boom periods and recovered gold from the lower grade deposits and tailings left by the first miners, and later by itinerant miners during the ‘s.
Geologists and engineers who systematically investigate remote parts of the country find small placer diggings and old prospect pits whose number and wide distribution imply few, if any, recognizable surface indications of metal-bearing deposits were overlooked by the earlier miners and prospectors.
Today’s prospector must determine where prospecting is permitted and be aware of the regulations under which he is allowed to search for gold and other metals. Permission to enter upon privately owned land must be obtained creek the land owner. Determination of land ownership and location and contact with the owner can be a time-consuming stream but one which has to be done before prospecting can stream. Department of gold Interior and in national forests administered by the Forest Service of the U.
Public land records in the proper BLM State Office will show you which lands are closed to mineral entry under the mining laws. These offices keep up-to-date land status plats that are available to the public for inspection. BLM gold publishing a series of surface and mineral ownership maps that depict the stream ownership mining of public lands. These maps may be purchased at most BLM Offices.
For a specific tract of land, it is advisable to check the official land records at the gold BLM State Office. Placer Deposits A placer deposit is a concentration of a natural material that has accumulated in unconsolidated sediments of a stream bed, beach, or residual deposit.
Gold derived by weathering or other process from lode deposits is likely to accumulate in placer deposits because of its weight and resistance to corrosion. In addition, its characteristically sun-yellow color makes it easily and quickly recognizable even in very small quantities. Many placer districts in California have been mined on a large scale as recently as the mid’s.
Streams draining the rich Mother Lode region–the Feather, Mokelumne, American, Cosumnes, Calaveras, and Yuba Rivers–and the Trinity River in northern California have concentrated considerable quantities of gold in gravels.
In addition, placers associated with gravels that are stream remnants from an older erosion cycle occur in the same general creek.